Ex-Kraken staff sues for discrimination over ‘unethical and illegal tactics’

A former employee at Kraken is suing the U.S.-based crypto exchange over allegations that he was unfairly dismissed after raising concerns about the way the firm does business.

Nathan Runyon originally filed papers on Nov 26 with a court in California, alleging he had been harassed and discriminated against at work. A former military veteran, Runyon said he was victimized after flagging issues about the way the exchange operates to management, CoinDesk reported.

After being hired as a financial analyst in 2018, Runyon worked for Kaiser Ng, Kraken’s chief financial officer who is also named on the lawsuit. According to the papers, Runyon says he was ultimately fired after raising issues about the firm’s practices to Ng directly.

Among the allegations made about Kraken, Runyon says he was asked to fabricate information for the purposes of passing an external audit, as well as being told not to correct errors that conflicted with decisions noted in board meetings.

Runyon also alleged Kraken had had dealings with firms based in sanctioned countries, as well as firms explicitly mentioned on the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List.

Runyon was later asked to reconcile customer account data with the firm’s bank balances, an exercise which exposed funding shortfalls running to millions of dollars. On each of the counts noted, Runyon says his concerns were repeatedly ignored or dismissed, before he eventually lost his job with the exchange.

His employment contract was terminated on August 1, 2019, which Runyon said coincided with him discovering Ng had been “defrauding Kraken employees” in relation to stock options.

Runyon’s personal residential address is still listed by Kraken as the address of Ng, which Runyon said was the result of pressure from the exchange to rent a room in his home. Naturally, Runyon claims the agreed rent was never paid by the exchange.

Kraken has yet to publicly respond to the comments, other than to decline to comment on “pending legal matters.”

The court in California will hear the case in due course.

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